The beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest

The 1964 Tour revolves around the duel between Anquetil and Poulidor.

 The two, fighting it out shoulder to shoulder on the slopes of the Puy de Dôme, it’s one of the Le Tour’s most iconic images. Anquetil was also a worldly celebrity, that of 1964 is his fifth Tour victory, but he built his fame proving his great class as passista, cronoman and strategist. Poulidor was a solid racer, a Limousine farmer perhaps in some ways naive. He became the most beloved cyclist in France, with 8 final podiums in the Tour, but never managed to wear the yellow jersey. That day on the Puy Anquetil managed to bluff on his struggle and Raymond reacted too late, crossing the line 42 seconds ahead of Anquetil who finished the day still in yellow by 14 seconds (and extending his winning margin over Poulidor to 55 seconds after the last time trial). Anquetil died of stomach cancer in 1987, and the day before he died, he told Poulidor, “Once again my friend you will be second to me.”

Giancarlo Brocci